Jason Ryan is far from the fir...

Soccer

Jason Ryan is far from the first GAA coach to try their hand in the soccer world

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

06:11 7 Jan 2016


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Earlier today, it was revealed that League of Ireland Premier Division newcomers Wexford Youth have drafted in former Kildare inter-county boss Jason Ryan.

The Dungarvan-born former Wexford footballers manager will take on the role of strength and conditioning coach during Youths' pre-season campaign, prior to the start of the league in March.

He is just one of many GAA coaches to have got involved with soccer over the years, of course.

Jim McGuinness is clearly the most high-profile figure to switch codes in the coaching stakes. Having enjoyed All-Ireland and provincial success with his native Donegal between 2010 and 2014, the 43-year-old has been rising up the ranks at Celtic FC.

Starting off in the academy, the Glenties man, then began working closely with the first team and current Celtic boss Ronny Deila.

Last year, he spoke to Off The Ball about his rise and interest in soccer, talking about the managers who are inspiring him as he takes his coaching badges:

"There's some really exciting teams out there [like] Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen also have a really interesting coach in Roger Schmidt, obviously Pep Guardiola, defensively Mourinho. So there's loads and loads. Our own manager at Celtic here, his style probably more than anybody because I'm so close to the action."

Premier League giants Arsenal have got Mayo strength and conditioning coach Barry Solan on their books.

The Ballaghderreen man has also worked with Poland's national team and joined Arsenal last summer.

And he's not the only person with a GAA background working with the Gunners after Limerick minor hurling strength and conditioning coach Cairbre O Caireallain joining the youth academy in that domain.

And just over 20 years on from the era, former Dublin senior football boss Mickey Whelan was involved as a coach with current back-to-back League of Ireland champions Dundalk FC when they won the 1994-95 title. 

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